Dunno what planet Hone Harawira is inhabiting these days.
He was away out of line in labelling Don Brash a racist
Brash’s concern essentially is that the Maori Party – and Hone’s new party – want to create a privileged group of New Zealanders.
“I want all New Zealanders to have exactly the same rights under the law. He [Hone] wants to give a preference to Maori.”
Today Alf has read that the stroppy Mana Party leader is describing Osama bin Laden as “a man who fought for the rights, the land and the freedom of his people”.
Well, not exactly.
Osama wanted to deprive a lot of people of their rights by subjugating them to Sharia law.
And what people, pray, was he fighting for?
Not the ones who are fighting and giving their own lives – not someone else’s – for democracy in countries like Libya, Syria, Yemen and Egypt.
If you consult Wikipedia on his ideas, you learn –
Osama believed that only the restoration of Sharia law would “set things right” in the Muslim world, and that alternatives such as “pan-Arabism, socialism, communism, democracy” must be opposed.
So how did he translate those ideas into action?
His ideology included the idea
…that civilians, including women and children, are legitimate targets of jihad. Osama was anti-Semitic, and delivered warnings against alleged Jewish conspiracies:
And don’t forgot that Shia Muslims were on his hit list of heretics, along with America, and Israel, among the principal “enemies of Islam”.
Alf observes that waiata – the songs and chants that are an important part of Māori culture – would be banned, along with a helluva lot of other things Hone enjoys, including pork with his puha – if Bin Laden were running the show.
In keeping with Wahhabi beliefs, Osama opposed music on religious grounds,
It’s a fair measure of Hone’s shortcomings in the thinking department, accordingly, that on Maori-language television last night he said the al-Qaeda founder should be “honoured” rather than “damned” in death according to Maori culture.
Mr Harawira twice paid tribute to bin Laden in te reo, saying it was Maori custom to acknowledge the dead.
Essentially, it seems Hone is keen to show his constituents he is different from we honkies after United States President Barack Obama announced on Monday that American troops had killed the al-Qaeda leader.
The news was quickly welcomed by Prime Minister John Key and Labour leader Phil Goff.
However, many Maori politicians had a different perspective.
Mr Harawira said on Maori Television’s Native Affairs that bin Laden had “pursued independence for his people, his family and his tribe”.
When asked if he was concerned about how such comment could be construed, he said he was Maori and “tributes to the dead are always appropriate” in Maori custom.
Mr Harawira also said on Te Karere that it was custom for Maori to “honour and mourn the deceased”.
“So I acknowledge him and bid him farewell. Return to your ancestors who wait for you beyond the veil of death.
“Despite what the media has said, his family, his tribe, his people are in mourning.
“They mourn for the man who fought for the rights, the land and the freedom of his people. We should not damn them in death, but acknowledge the positive aspects of life.”
Fair to say, Alf was much more comfortable with the reaction of a Labour MP, Shane Jones.
He said he did not have the same level of affection for bin Laden as Mr Harawira.
He also scotched Mr Harawira’s claim that it was Maori custom to always pay tribute to the dead.
“In the old days, a great enemy – if he wasn’t eaten – his bones were used to make musical instruments. So this romantic notion that in the old time, Maori spent hours of their time saluting the enemy was not the case.
“Enemies were turned to dust and people rejoiced, because of the suffering they had caused.”
That’s what Alf would have liked doing to Hitler, if he had been old enough at the time.
Hone – we may suppose – would have paid tribute to him in his Maori way.